Education is a lifelong process; as you practice nursing, you will learn more about your specialties.
Nurses work in hospitals or other healthcare facilities where they can be effective in the lives of their patients by providing them with the best possible care. The healthcare industry is changing daily, so nurses must keep up with the latest technologies and trends.
As a nurse, you have much to gain from pursuing education to existing polish skills and learning new ones. You will improve your career prospects; higher education will help you become more effective in your work and improve patient outcomes.
Nurses are in high demand today. According to BLS, registered nurses make up 30% of total hospital employment, with an annual median wage of $77,600.
Here are some of the most relevant reasons why nurses should pursue higher education:
Expands Your Knowledge
The first reason to pursue higher education is that it expands your knowledge. An RN can become an APRN if you complete specific requirements for licensing through the state board of nursing. These include passing exams such as:
- The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
- Fingerprinting tests conducted by local law enforcement agencies
After passing these tests, you can work independently without supervision from other healthcare professionals such as physicians or pharmacists. Taking time away from work and attending classes at school or online courses alone can increase knowledge and instill leadership qualities in nurses.
In this e-learning era, you can now opt for UTA online nursing programs to advance your career growth and professional development.
Opportunity to Help Patients
The second reason nurses should pursue higher education is that it provides an opportunity to help patients. Many nurses can influence the lives of others by providing them with care and support.
In fact, according to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 90 percent of all nurse practitioners report that they enjoy helping people with their health issues or disabilities because it gives them purpose and meaning in their work life.
Better Healthcare Decisions
As a nurse practitioner, you will have the opportunity to make better healthcare decisions because you will have more information at your fingertips. You will be a well-informed, ethical nurse who can better navigate demanding situations. And finally, you will be able to make effective decisions.
Understanding diseases and treatments will allow nurses to make better healthcare decisions for their patients. For example, suppose a patient has been diagnosed with diabetes. In that case, they may need different medications than someone who does not have diabetes but is undergoing chemotherapy for another treatment.
Improves Organizational Skills
Organizational skills are critical to your success as a nurse. Nursing requires organization, planning, and scheduling to deliver quality patient care on time.
Effective organizational skills help nurses to be more efficient and effective in their workday by ensuring they have all the resources they need at their fingertips when they need them most.
Enhanced organizational skills developed by nurses through higher education are:
- Critical thinking
- Creative problem solving
- Conflict resolution
Better Patient Care
Nurses have a unique opportunity to provide the best possible care for their patients because they have the knowledge and expertise. They also understand what it means to be a good nurse, which can help them communicate effectively with other caregivers on the unit or in an outpatient setting.
In addition, nurses can often recognize signs of illness before other staff members do and take appropriate action earlier than most people would think possible.
Higher education enables them to use a wide variety of the latest nursing technologies, such as:
- Electronic Health Records
- Digital Monitors
- Smart Beds
- Automatic IV Pumps
- Telehealth and Apps
- Centralized Command Centers
Changing Industry Demands
The healthcare industry is constantly changing, and your education will need to keep pace with those changes. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recently announced that it will require all nurses to have a bachelor’s degree by 2020. This change is in response to growing concerns about nurse shortages and increasing healthcare needs.
Nurses who are not trained or highly educated may not be able to meet these new requirements, which could cause them to lose their jobs. You also need advanced degrees to understand complicated medical terminologies better than anyone else!
Optimizes Work Efficiency
In a healthcare environment, nurses must be able to make the best possible decisions to keep patients safe and well-treated. However, they also must be able to do so with limited resources—time and money being two of them.
If a nurse understands their patient’s condition, it will enable them to treat them more effectively. This allows for quicker recovery times and reduces costs.
In addition, higher education teaches nursing students how complex treatments can be organized into steps or phases so that each stage has its purpose while still achieving the overall goal. Some of the procedures performed by registered nurses and advanced nurse practitioners are:
- Wound care
- Blood transfusion
- Tracheostomy care
Supports Better Patient Outcomes
Nurses with advanced degrees may be better able to provide the best care to their patients. For example, they will better understand the patient’s condition and how it can affect their prognosis.
As a nurse, you can better understand how to treat the patients and decide which treatment is more appropriate. You now understand how treatments affect people differently—and how those treatments relate to their overall health outcomes.
Eventually, it makes them more informed and confident while recommending treatment options for patients during consultations with doctors or surgeons.
- Career Progression
The more education you have, the more likely it is to advance within your field and become an expert in whatever area interests you most, e.g., gerontology.
As a nurse, you will likely be promoted as your experience grows. This means that you will be able to collaborate with more patients and take on more responsibility within the hospital setting. You may even be allowed to work in different hospital areas, such as administration or research. It will enhance your overall career growth.
Some of the diversified career domains are:
- Legal Nurse Consultant
- Nurse Midwife
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Nurse Case Manager
- Nurse Educator
- Nurse Researcher
Nurses must be well-rounded and knowledgeable about various healthcare settings, including hospital and community settings, to provide patient care at all levels of complexity.
Pursuing higher education can change your career and create new opportunities for you. With more knowledge and experience, you’ll be more understanding, provide improved patient care, and receive satisfaction in your career.